Cambodian Traffic Rules
“I consider myself an expert toboganeer.” Harriet, First Lady of the Adventurer’s Club 1937
The rules of the road in Cambodia is that there are no rules of the road. Except maybe carry as much stuff on a little bike as humanly possible.
One of my favourite things to do in Cambodia was to sit and watch the traffic go by. From a safe distance obviously, not actually sitting in the road. It was completely normal to see whole families on little motorbikes, or four fully grown men, or two monks and a driver. I think the most people I ever seen on one bike was four kids and two adults. It was strange to see just one person on a motorbike. Women tended to ride side-saddle, usually texting or reading while the driver weaved in and out of traffic.
Need a 12 foot pipe transported? No problem. Stick it on a motorbike.
I once seen a man on a motorbike holding on to two large mirrors that were easily two metres squared. No ropes, no covering. Just holding them in between him and the driver.
It was not uncommon to see farm animals, fully alive, tied on to the front of a bike. One time we seen a pig in a tuk tuk (Tuk Tuk’s For Pigs, a succesful follow-up to Hotel for Dogs maybe?).
There are more motorbike than cars I would say. Strangely in Phnom Penh an overwhelming amount of those cars were Lexus’s. I’m not sure why.
The best thing about the traffic sites is the blink and you’ll miss it aspect of it all. Did I really just see that? I would think to myself staring off into the distance. One night in Phnom Penh I had a mojito on the balcony of an art house bar and I had the perfect view for taking some snaps. Enjoy!